The First Rural Women Heroes of Tombouctou

Two extraordinary, but very ordinary women from Tombouctou have set an example for the whole of Africa, and demonstrated how the impossible is possible…



Image from The First Rural Women Heroes of Tombouctou.
spacer The First Rural Women Heroes of Tombouctou

Two illiterate women from Tombouctou came to the Barefoot College of Tilonia, India to learn about solar energy. After six months of training, much of it through sign language, they went back to Tombouctou and solar electrified their whole village, the first in West Africa.

Now children can study at night without damaging their eyes, women can work on handicrafts to supplement their income, and villagers are spared the high expense and time of travel to buy kerosene.

If a village in Tombouctou can be solar electrified against such tremendous odds adopting a Barefoot approach, then it is possible to replicate this process anywhere.

images from YES! Magazine's online photo essay of the work of the Barefoot College of Tilonia

YES! photo essay icon:: PHOTO ESSAY:
Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia

YES! video icon:: MORE VIDEO:
The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers of the World

“This is a true story about ordinary heroes. A story of very simple women who have made an extraordinary difference in their own community…”

The First Women Barefoot Solar Engineers of the Gambia
See the solar installation in process, start to finish: follow two rural illiterate women from The Gambia who learn how to become Barefoot Solar Engineers.

The Night Schools
Solar lanterns from the barefoot solar engineers enable a unique system of night schools throughout India, providing working children with both education and an experience of democracy.

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